Early Detection Of Retinal Disease Is Essential To Preserving Vision
Diabetes can affect the eyes in several ways. When glucose levels are elevated in the blood stream, it makes the blood vessels unhealthy. In the eye, the blood vessels in the retina can leak fluid or the decreased blood flow through the blood vessels can cause new blood vessels to grow. These new blood vessels are unhealthy and can leak and bleed and scar and cause retinal detachments. When diabetes affects the retina, it is called diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss in people between 20 and 64 years of age.
There are two types of diabetic retinopathy:
The first is called nonproliferative retinopathy with hemorrhages in the retina. Macular edema can occur where fluid leaks out of the blood vessels in the central retina and cause decreased vision.
The second type of diabetic retinopathy is proliferative diabetic retinopathy. In this case, new blood vessels grow that are unhealthy. They can cause bleeding with floaters and decreased vision and can also cause scarring and retinal detachments and severe vision loss. Macular edema may also occur in proliferative diabetic retinopathy.